bmuell

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Already have: OCZ PowerStream 520W PSU, Lian Li PC-V1200 case, Dell WPS 21.5" 1680x1050 LCD, NEC DVDRW, and a Samsung floppy. I'm currently using XP 32bit, but I'll probably do a clean install of Windows 7 beta with this (I really don't want to purchase Vista since they're going to charge to upgrade to Windows 7).

My uses are heavy multi-tasking and gaming (StarCraft II and any new MMORPG that comes out).

I'm located in CA, so unfortunately, Newegg charges tax :cry:

Here's what I've found... all prices include tax and shipping...

i7 920 - $273 Ebay
Asus P6T - $240 Ebay
Patriot Viper 6GB - $107 - $30MIR Newegg
BFG GTX260 core 216 55nm - $187 - $20MIR Amazon
640GB Caviar Black - $80 Amazon

TOTAL = $887 - $50 MIRs

The places where I can probably reduce cost are the Mobo and the Video Card. I'm just not too crazy about the MSI X58 Pro with its hot northbridge, and I would go for the Gigabyte UD3R but I don't want to handicap myself with only 4 DIMM slots.

I was originally looking at ATI HD 4870s because I know SC2 uses Havok, but the prices haven't dropped like I thought they would... the Toxic 4870 512MB is still $230+ whereas I can get this 260 core 216 for under $210 including tax/shipping.

Is there anything else that can be done to cut prices? If anyone knows of an online retailer with prices close to Newegg's but doesn't charge CA tax, please let me know :)

EDIT:

Option 2:

(All from Newegg)

Western Digital Caviar Black - $79.99
GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P - $109.99
G.SKILL 4GB DDR2 1066 - $52.99
ASUS 4870 512MB & PII X3 720 combo - $276.99 - $30MIR

Subtotal: $519.96
Tax: $42.90
Shipping: $12.73
Grand Total: $575.59 - $30MIR

Am I stupid to not just go this route? Yeah it's maybe only 80% the performance of i7, but it's only 60% cost. I'm torn.
 

bmuell

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Gigabyte UD4P + [Asus 4870 512MB & PII X3] = $357 versus $455.

That's an extra $100 (not including tax) for the fourth core and extra 512mb of Video RAM, which I don't think is worth it, considering that I play on 1680x1050. I also prefer the Gigabyte mobo.
 

MykC

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The Phenon system seems to the way to go. To be honest the Phenom II 720 with the Biostar is the best deal, you may not like the brand but the price more than makes up for it. With that said you can then move into a 1GB 4870 GPU. For a gaming machine I don't think the i7 is worth the money (regardless of budget) given the requirements of every game except Crysis (which to run at 1920x1200 requires at least 2x the GPU as FEAR 2 or Far Cry 2 or Fallour 3). There are no games thats that I know of that are bottleneck by a 720 oc'd. And if I know Blizzard Starcraft 2 will run fine on machines from a year ago.
 

bmuell

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Going with the Biostar board combo would only save me $10 more, so that wouldn't be enough to upgrade to a 4870 1GB. You're probably right about a 720 not being the bottleneck.
 

MykC

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http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.165025 Phenom II 720 with Biostar 790GX motherboard or the Foxconn 790FX (no $10 rebate of the Foxconn) both $215, both have a good number of good customer reviews
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 $45 - $25MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319 WD 640GB AALS $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=Property&Subcategory=48&Description=&Type=&N=2010380048&srchInDesc=&MinPrice=&MaxPrice=&OEMMark=0&PropertyCodeValue=679%3A40678&PropertyCodeValue=683%3A20729 1GB 4870 $200 - $30MIR

My $540 + $55 (tax/shipping) - 65MIR = $530
vs your $545 after MIR

You downgrade the ram, you make a switch the 790GX or FX board and you get an upgrade on the GPU to a 1GB 4870. If you benched these two systems against each other the unit I select will far outperform the parts you selected. The price you pay for your RAM and motherboard can't compete to the direct benefits of a better GPU and I come in $15 cheaper.

And of course which every system you go with:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020 Artic MX-2 Thermal Compound $7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233003 Xigma $37 - $10MIR (AMD)
 

bmuell

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That's also a good option... but it's not as incredible for me since I still have to pay tax on a top of that. The Amazon 260 core 216 is close without the rebate.

RE: Biostar board

Then it's just the RAM, not the mobo combo, that's making up the difference, and even then you're relying on another rebate that may or may not manifest.

I've seen the benchmarks, and the differences between and 4870 512MB and 1GB on a 1680 x 1050 display are minimal. So I'm not sure if it's really worth the extra $35 over the ASUS card. Maybe in future games. Not sure.
 

MykC

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Either way, at this point I'm just nit picking, your getting a very solid system at that price point each with its pros/cons.
 

xthekidx

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The MSI card will perform better though since the core is overclocked by 14%...
 

bmuell

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You're right, and also Amazon just raised its price on the EVGA. Figures!
 

bmuell

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Actually this BFG card looks like an even better deal: http://www.amazon.com/BFG-Technologies-BFGEGTX260MC896OCBE-GeForce-Graphics/dp/B001QIUB0E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1237860556&sr=1-1

Ships free from Amazon so no tax or shipping! :)

Weird, it says the rebate offer is valid for 3/31 to 4/31. Does that mean you aren't eligible for the rebate unless you wait until the 31st to buy?

Edit: sold on ZipZoomFly too: http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10010034

Buy from there if you don't live in CA.
 

bmuell

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New build (all prices from Amazon):

i7 920: $270
MSI X58 Pro: $191 - $20MIR
OCZ Platinum 6GB 1600mhz: $120 - $50MIR
ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB: $198
WD Caviar Black 80GB: $80

Total: $860 - $70MIR

The price of the MSI is just too good to pass up. I think I might finally pull the trigger tomorrow.

Looks good?
 

bmuell

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Perhaps... I just think it's outrageous that that board has only 4 dimm slots for freakin triple channel!


Also, I just realized, I'm going to need a new wireless network adapter to run in Vista/Win7. Does someone want to recommend one? I have a Linksys WRT54G router.
 

MykC

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Even if you have to run 200ft of network cable and use 50 l-brackets (to keep the cable along the doors and walls) it'll be better than wireless. I hate wireless, its so damn inconsistent.
 

xthekidx

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Triple channel isn't that much of a boost over dual chanel, its like a 5% increase. But you already have so much memory bandwidth with the i7 that it doesn't really matter because most apps cannot take full advantage of the i7's memory bandwidth anyways. Besides that only matters if you are going to go over 6gb of ram...which is so much already.
 

bmuell

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Yeah, but I can see 12gb being standard in 2 years, and the platform should last at least 3 years. My Socket 939 board has lasted 3.5 years, and I only had to double the memory once.